May 29, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma women’s track and field team jumped seven spots to No. 9 in the latest rankings released Tuesday by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Rankings are based on competitors entered for the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa. OU’s men enter the meet ranked 25th. The Big 12 Conference has five men’s teams and five women’s teams ranked in this week’s poll.
OU has 12 individuals and one relay team competing at the four-day event at Drake Stadium. Those athletes scheduled to compete are: Alex Acker, Women’s Pole Vault; George Alex, Men's 5000m Run; Tia Brooks, Women’s Shot Put; Luke Bryant, Men’s Discus Throw; Brittany Borman, Women’s Javelin and Discus Throws; Patrick Casey, Men’s 1500m Run; Shakeeri Cole, Women’s 800m Run; Eric Cray, Men’s 400m Hurdles; Eric Harasyn, Men’s 1500m Run; Tre Lathan, Men’s 110-Meter Hurdles; Ti’Anca Mock, Women’s Long Jump; Jamel Wood, Men’s 400m Dash; and the Men’s 4x100-Meter Relay.
Brooks and Bryant enter the NCAA Championship with the top marks from the preliminaries in their respective events. Brooksadvanced to the Championship for a third straight year with a mark of 60 feet, three and quarter inch posted on her first attempt at the preliminary. Brooks previously posted the best mark in the NCAA this year with an Oklahoma program record 60-7.25 at the Drake Relays. She won the 2012 NCAA indoor title in the event.
Bryant had the top mark of the prelims in the discus with a throw of 197-8. It also marks Bryant’s third time to advance to the NCAA Championship. He previously finished in the top 15 at the meet in 2009 and 2010. Bryant also has the top mark in his event the country this year, throwing 202-4 at the John Jacobs Invitational.
Borman competes in two events at the national meet and looks to defend her national title in the javelin. Borman had the third-best marks at the West Preliminary in both the javelin and discus. She threw 166-11 at the preliminary in the javelin, but posted the top mark in the event this season with a program record 194-11 at the Sun Angel Classic. Borman’s discus mark of 181-6 was just off her season best of 183-0 set at the John Jacobs Invitational. It marks her third straight trip to the national meet.
Alex advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championship for the first time in his career, earning an automatic spot with a fifth-place finish in the second heat of the men's 5,000-meter run. Alex ran 14 minutes, 8.41 seconds to finish ninth overall. He is the Big 12 champion in the event. The Sooners sent two men to the 1,500-meter semifinal as Harasyn (3:43.44) and Casey (3:44.34) finished in the top five of the first heat to automatically advance. Harasyn was fifth overall, while Casey was ninth.
Cole advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championship for the first time in her career with a collegiate-best 2:05.68, the second fastest time in Oklahoma program history. Cole finished 12th to nab the final qualifying spot out of the west. Cray finished 10th in the men’s 400-meter hurdles to advance, running 50.56 seconds to finish fourth in his heat. His time was the best among the non-automatic qualifiers in the event.
Wood advanced to the men’s 400-meter dash semifinals by finishing sixth in the first heat. Wood ran a collegiate-best 46.35 seconds to qualify in the final spot from the west. Lathan ran a wind-aided 13.62 seconds to finish second in the final heat, sixth overall, to advance to the semifinal of the men’s 110-meter hurdles. The men’s 4x100-meter relay team of Marcus Anderson, Cray, Evan Pierson and Wood ran a season’s best 39.91 seconds to finish 10th.
Acker moved on to her first national meet after enduring an eight-round jump off for the final qualifying spot from the West Preliminary. Acker was officially given credit for clearing 13-4.25 but cleared as high as 13-10 in the jump-off to move on. Mock moved on for a second consecutive year with a wind-aided mark of 20-8.50 on her second attempt. Mock finished in the final qualifying spot of the event. She enters the national meet with a season-best leap of 21-6 recorded at the Texas Relays.
In addition to Borman’s national title, the Sooners enter the meet with a combined eight First Team All-America honors, two second team honorees and two national runner-ups (Brooks, Mock).